Friday, May 15, 2009

The Beacon

Ever had a hankering for a menu item that's likely to cost the last shred of human decency you have? I used to be a travelin' man. The phone would ring and I would find myself somewhere that wasn't home. Every now and then I would wake up in or around Spartanburg, SC.

What's to do around Spartanburg you ask?

The Beacon Drive In. That's what.

My o my what a dive.

Looks can be deceiving though. For almost 100 years you'd be greeted by the same man at the end of the counter. "Call it out" he'd bark. In Yankee, he's asking what would be your pleasure today. "Move it down" he'd then say. In your heart of hearts you knew this order was going to be messed up. It never was.

Plates were more a metaphysical concept than a reality. A Plenty was generally served in the middle of a bar tray, smothered in fries and rings.

Their real claim to fame is their home made iced tea. Its The Beacon's claim that they sell more iced tea than anyone in the country.

To put things in perspective the Beacon weekly shopping list includes:
1.5 tons of sugar
3 tons of onions
3 tons of potatoes
4 tons of meat and seafood.

And only heaven knows how much fat.

Sometimes late at night I get a need for a Beacon fried chicken aplenty. Later I dream of meeting my cardiologist. I do love it though. Stop in if you happen to be near.



Martha said...

Has this been on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives? Sounds like a likely candidate!

The Blushing Hostess said...

We spend a lot of time in SC and I am forever hearing about this place but I cannot bring myself to go that far went for a burger. One of these days though...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I like the Beacon "A-Plen-Tae". You need the sweet tea to counteract that greasy film on the roof of your mouth.

Have you been to Duke's Sandwich Shop in Greenville?


Toad said...

No, I hav'nt done Duke's. Tell us more.

Mom on the Run said...

And then you can swing by the Varsity in Midtown ATL for naked dogs walking, rings, a frosted O and a fried peach pie.


Anonymous said...

Dukes started as a sandwich wagon serving textile mills. At some point they split and the other part became the Dukes mayonaise company. The sandwich place specializes in various spreads (think chicken salad) on white bread. The sandwiches are sealed in a very old-school cellophane wrapper with a little paper label inside. I like the "baked ham, green pepper and onion" best. Just the thing for a picnic.


Sam Alderman said...

I just stumbled across this post. As a graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, I can attest that the Beacon is all that and more. I recall my first visit ordering a double chili cheese with bacon and slaw a these 27 years later, I think part of that meal is still with me. The Beacon is the best.